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It is good to keep in mind that at least some of the warehouse fires in
question had to have been "insurance fires."  For a company in financial
distress, with a warehouse full of old material just sitting around,
generating no income and costing for upkeep, a nice insurance fire to
generate some fast cash could look fairly attractive, helping the old
bottom line.  Its hard to prove the arson if carefully carried out, and
with nitrate film, well who would even bother to investigate.   As an old
insurance lawyer in a prior life, I remain suspicious.

Best,
John Haley


On Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 2:13 PM, Peter Brothers <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Joel:
>
> Before replying with specific details, might I ask what the intent is in
> collecting the list of disasters?  We are a tape restoration and
> re-mastering laboratory that is very well known for our disaster recovery
> services.  As such, we have a significant list of recent (since 1983)
> disasters but are hesitant to release some of the information without an
> indication of what the data will be used for.  Major archive disasters such
> as ABC(flood), MTV (fire and flood at different locations at different
> times), SONY (flood at different locations at different times), ZOMBA
> (flood), the CBC (flood), The Grand Ole Opry (flood), Prague (flood), etc.
> are not a problem but there have been a large number of disasters at
> smaller
> archives or at facilities holding archival materials that are a little more
> "confidential".
>
> While we do hear about fires, we probably get 20 flood inquiries per every
> fire inquiry.  While some fires leave tapes contaminated with soot and
> debris that can be decontaminated, too often fire destroys the materials.
> It is a lot easier to restore tapes that have been under water than tapes
> that have burned up into little lumps of "charcoal".
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Peter Brothers
> SPECS BROS., LLC
> 973-777-5055
> [log in to unmask]
>
> Tape restoration, disaster recovery and re-mastering since 1983
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Joel Bresler
> Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 7:51 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Disasters at Commercial Archives
>
> Dear Friends:
>
> I would like to assemble a short list of disasters (and near-disasters)
> that
> have befallen multimedia archives. Any help building a short list would be
> much appreciated. To get us started:
>
> MGM and Atlantic labels lost holdings in a fire In 1996 a movie lot fire
> almost demolished the MCA audio archive RCA bulldozed a warehouse in
> Camden,
> NJ in the 1960s, with master recordings and other materials still inside
>
> (These examples from: "Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our
> Cultural Rights" by Bill Ivey
>
> Destruction of Odeon masters at the end of WWII.
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Joel
>
>
> Joel Bresler
> 250 E. Emerson Road
> Lexington, MA 02420
> United States
>
> 1-781-862-4104 (Telephone & FAX)
> www.joelbresler.org
> [log in to unmask]
> IN CASE OF VERIZON EMAIL PROBLEMS, PLEASE USE MY BACK-UP EMAIL:
> joelbresler-at-gmail.com
>